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20110701
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.org/history. >> yesterday, a senate homeland security subcommittee on contract oversight looked at afghanistan reconstruction contracts. witnesses include contractors to receive money from the u.s. agency for international development and the army corps of engineers as well as defense department and usaid officials. missouri democratic senator clear ms. castle -- clare mccaskill chaired the two-hour hearing. if the witnesses have become -- i have a formal statement prepared but i have decided not to give a formal opening statement. and just express the reason for this hearing. this is not the first hearing we have had in the subcommittee on contract thing in our contingency operation. and i began working on this problem almost the day i wrought -- arrived in the senate. when i travel to iraq to do nothing but look at contracting oversight because i couldn't figure out how in the world things had gotten so out of control in terms of contacting in iraq. i went over to iraq and i realized why they had gotten out of control. contract and representatives were just a low man on the total bowl being
.s. policy in afghanistan and iraq. we want to begin the segment by talking with the defense policy reporter with bloomberg news. she joins us by phone. she has traveled with defense and that i ton patte iraq. talk about what you heard the defense secretary do while he was overseas. guest: it was interesting to watch secretary panetta and compare how he handled the trip and his interaction with troops and with foreign leaders to secretary gates. he has fairly big shoes to f ill, according to people who were quite complementary. leon panetta also has a lot of familiarity with u.s. military forces. forces. with the commanders and foreign leaders that he is meeting with and going to be interacting with. with his experience as cia director for more than two years before taking this job and in other capacities, for example, a member of iraq study group that did the independent assessment in 2006 of the war in iraq. host: was specifically was the defense secretary trying to accomplish on this trip? guest: he wanted to go out and touch base with the troops themselves and make that connection. it is
the civil war in afghanistan. i do not understand why members of congress want to spend $10 billion a month in afghanistan when our people back home are struggling. i can assure you the american people do not understand it, either. in june, a poll was conducted by the pew research center where 56% of the american people polled said bring our troops home now. not later. mr. speaker, i brought back the picture of edy and stephanie. their father and lieutenant colonel palmer, died, and that continues to haunt me. and the way they died continues to haunt me. that's the reason i wanted to bring this picture down here again. they were given the task to train afghans to be policemen. the two were shot and murdered by one of the trainees. what really haunts me is the email sergeant baldwin sent to his wife the day before he was shot and killed. i quote the email, i don't trust them. i don't trust them. for anything. not for anything at all. why in the world do we continue to send our young men and women overseas to get theirselves blown up, shot, and murdered by people they are trying to train? the
panetta went to iraq and afghanistan. he did not go to pakistan. i take that as a strong message. it is easy when you're in that region to attack on an extra couple of days for an important ally. i think that cross the minds of everyone who planned the trip. it was clearly a conscious decision not to go to pakistan. i think that is in part because when osama bin laden was killed on may 2 there was a list of things that we would ask the pakistan's to do, the pakistani to do, and i have not acted on any of them. this administration also put a hold on a $10 million in assistance. a great way to resolve that is sending the defense secretary to talk to folks about what is going on, but he did not. you are seeing already how differently the pentagon will treat allies in the region. "the in this morning's financial times" they had this headline -- guest: the withdrawal deadline is aggressive. they're talking about getting half of the troops out during the prime fighting season. they do not fight as much during the wintertime. we are starting to withdraw troops during a tumultuous situat
it comes to discussing the merits of continuing our efforts in afghanistan, the republicans clamor to defend it despite our fiscal mess. i want to remind my republican friends the situation we are in now is not new. throughout history from rome to the ottoman empire to the soviet union the over extension of military and protracted struggles in foreign countries has crippled empires. some historians have credited ronald reagan for the soviet union's collapse but what really bankrupted the soviet union was its wars, just like us, they paid a crushing price both financially and morally in afghanistan. overextending geopolitically comes at a cost over time in any nation that thinks otherwise is setting itself up to repeat the mistakes of the past. as of today, the united states has spent more than 2 1/2 times the percentage of g.d.p. on afghanistan that the -- than the soviet union spent on its g.d.p. during its nine-year war in afghanistan. public polls are clear, americans know the cost of the war in afghanistan is unsustainable and want us to withdraw as soon as possible. when it co
these funds available through a transfer from the account for the afghanistan security forces fund. that account is funded in this bill at $12.8 billion. while i think those funds are an important part of the strategy for long-term success in afghanistan, i think the highest and best use of a very small part of that money is to help our national guard and reserve combat veterans get back on their feet again. my amendment would use about 1.5% for that purpose, which i think is reasonable. in exchange for about 1.5% of what we are about to provide to help the afghans take care of themselves we can provide a 125% increase in support for those american soldiers and their families who make it all possible. i think that's a pretty good deal. finally, my amendment will not in any way delay final passage of this important passage. if adopted we move to a straight final vote on passage of this legislation. i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their service and for their work on this bill. i think my amendment will have virtually no adverse impact on what we're trying to d
spending in iraq and -- of spending in iraq and afghanistan. how about that? we will spend more than $833 million in the next three days in kabul and baghdad. in part to help build clean water systems there. in part to help create jobs there. i just think that's inexcusable that we find ourselves in a position where we're spending in two or three days in iraq and afghanistan when we could spend to eliminate this cut and provide clean drinking water for the people of our country. the amount of subsidies we're going to give oil companies. the oil companies made record profits in 2010. they made about $60 billion in profits, if i'm not mistaken. $77 billion, actually, in profits last year. we'll spend six times as much of this cut in the clean drinking water fund to give money away to those oil companies this year. these are people who made $77 billion in profits last year, whose stocks are off the charts, who are paying their c.e.o.'s hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation, and we're going to give them about $7 billion from the wallets of the people of this country this year. that'
a reason why we are in iraq and libya and afghanistan. but having said that, let's face it, it would be ridiculous to assume that i'm making an appeal for democrats when what i'm talking about is those people who are vulnerable. because of our financial center cause people to lose their homes, it wasn't just democrats, there were democrats, republicans, independents, and those that have no faith in government that woke up in the morning, they lost their jobs, they lost their home, they lost their pension funds, they lost their savings, they had to pull their kids out of school, they lost their self-esteem, some lost their homes. i don't remember anywelfare reform we are talking about people that are registered democrats. these are americans that are expected -- that expected more from their government than just saying that we will be able to address your deeds in the by and by. and the very people that are aged, god knows we are not talking about a party label. we are talking about our sick or we are talking about medicaid, we are talking about medicare, when we talk about social sec
're at war for 10 years, in afghanistan and iraq at surge levels. we assume we're going to be fighting this war for 10 more years, with over 100,000 troops in afghanistan and oh, gosh, wait, we're going to withdraw our troops in 2014. $1 trillion in savings. i've got a better idea. let's pass a bill to cover the moon with yogurt that will cost $5 trillion today. and then let's pass a bill the next day to cancel that bill. we could save $5 trillion. wait, i've got a better idea. our debt is $14 trillion. let's come up with a new plan to spend $14 trillion, then rescind it the next day and let's save $14 trillion. this stuff is fiscal fantasy. you can't make this stuff up, mr. speaker. suggesting that we're going to be in a war at these levels for 10 more years when everybody knows we've already decided not to do that, that does not get us $1.3 trillion in spending cuts. only in washington can you add up math like that. we need real spending cuts. i yield myself an additional minute to say, this is getting serious, mr. speaker. very serious. we can't keep spending money we just don't hav
a loved one in afghanistan. ethan and stephanie, bowing here at arlington cemetery, lost their father on may 12 of this year. the sergeant, who was stationed at camp lejeune marine base, and another was sent with the mission to train afghan citizens to become police. the men had just sat down to dinner when a rogue trainee opened fire killing both men. in an email to his wife the day before he died, the sergeant said, and i quote, i don't trust them. i don't trust them for anything, not anything at all. this brings me to a quote from a.c. snow's recent column tiled "time to bring them home: let them live." mr. snow is a well-known correspondent in north carolina. and i quote, it seems we never run out of wars. it is as if one small country after another sends out a grave's invitation reading, we're having a war, please come. and uncle sam borrows millions to offer freedom our nation building. mr. speaker, i go back to the two little girls in this picture. how many more children will be at the grave site of a loved one? how many more have to known the pain of war? i further quote from
, republican congress and the bush years, wars in iraq, wars in afghanistan not paid for, prescription drug bill not paid for, and bush tax cuts for wealthiest americans which have caused most of the deficit, and the problem with the debt ceiling. now we are not calling on them to make some sacrifice and pay for it. most everybody in america knows about dieting. most of us are a little overweight. michelle obama will tell you that any day. we need to watch our weight. but when you go to diet, you got to reduce your calories, and you got to exercise some more. spend some calories, reduce some calories. that's the way you diet. the same thing with the budget. you got a problem at home with your budget, well, maybe you think i won't take that vacation and go to miami beach and stay in that three star hotel, i'll go to fort walton and stay in a two star hotel and maybe get another job or work some more overtime. increase your income, you decrease your spending. and you get it together. this congress, though, has got the problem because in dealing with this and the debt ceiling is independent of
with afghanistan there. over the years, the number has gone up steadily. the first few years of the strike 2004 to 2007, just a handful, and we see it going up. 2010, under the obama administration, really rising. but a policy never fully publicly articulated. 118 strikes last year. 45 so far this year. pakistanis said a couple of months ago that they wanted to stop here they ordered the cia out of an air base in pakistan were some of the raids have been launched. by my reckoning, there have been a dozen sense, so have these been done like the big law the raid itself against the will of the pakistan government? we do not know for sure, but we do know that our defensive about it, and last month, for example, john brennan tried to allay concerns and talked about new procedure and said that in the past year there have not been a single collateral death because of the exceptional efficiency and provision -- decision of the capabilities they been able to develop. they say no one has been killed. >> so have they delivered on that envisioned? >> this is where the new research comes in here it has been
their lives in the service of our nation in iraq and afghanistan and their families and of all who serve in our armed forces and their families. the chair: without objection, two-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the request for a railroaded -- vord -- recorded vote on amendment number 2 by the gentleman from illinois, mr. rush, on which further proceedings were postponed, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 112-181, offered by mr. rush of illinois. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. this will be a two-minute vote, followed by a series of additional two-minute votes. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the chair: on this vote, the ye
that they're bringing back, they are companies specifically going after returning iraq and afghanistan veterans to be able to hire them. it was interesting, we were talking about drilling and you go into a drilling platform and they say their favorite people to be able to hire are tank drivers returning from the war zone because they're used to driving equipment, looking on a screen and dealing with multiple things all at once. these are folks employing our veterans and they're engaged in providing great jobs. i was on a fracking site, being able to watch it. it's high tech job, people on computers, as well as people in pumping, trucks, people providing food, people providing the equipment, it's people with big wrenches and people with small computers. and you see this multitude of different jobs provided by oil and natural gas and by fossil fuels we're producing right here in america. we are at a moment that we can either say, we want all green jobs, we want to destroy the jobs producing fossil fuels, or we can say, let's do both. let's encourage the growth of green jobs but let's not
they're dodging bullets in places like afghanistan. we'd have confidence. but instead he says he can't guarantee. mr. speaker, we know he can. we know he can guarantee. we should push that on him out of this house to let him know where we stand, so the american people understand there is a moral standard here. one is, tell the truth. the second moral standard is, pay our military, the other moral standard is guarantee the full faith and credit of the united states government. i laid out the rest of these priorities, mr. speaker and cut, cap, and balance is an important position to stand on. the leverage that's here now must be used or we shirk our responsibility. had the leverage been stronger back in 1995, that extra vote in the senate that i spoke about some minutes ago would have been there, i believe and i believe the balanced budget amendment would have been sent to the states and i believe the states would have ratified it and if that had been part of the constitution the kay i came -- the day i came here in january of 2003 i wouldn't have had to walk around on the floor and fi
not be able to do things militarily to support our troops in afghanistan and iraq. i view this, i think it bears close watching, but there is a perception that somehow we're giving our china, india, brazil and other countries an advantage. i view this program as a two-way street. it does provide a degree of access to american companies and so i would be also reluctant -- i reluctantly oppose your amendment but i can assure you that both of us feel very strongly that it bears watching. it has borne some fruit. mr. frelinghuysen: it's not money wasted, it's not money given away to competitors. thank you for yielding. mr. visclosky: but again, i think it draws attention that we should be closely monitoring these funds. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from fey rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. broun: i'd like to yield to dr. harris from maryland. mr. harris: let me briefly address this so we can move on. we only cut $6 million out of the $8 million. there's budget language further on t
wars, afghanistan and iraq. borrowed money to do it. these are past expenditures. here we are, days away from the default crisis, where our republican friends are using this moment in time, where we're not really discussing tomorrow's expenditures, we're talking about yesterday's expenditures and they're saying, give us our way our else america defaults. mr. welch: representative garamendi, i think the message from the democrats in the house of representatives is straightforward and logical. mr. tonko: we said save medicare, make it stronger. then we talk about cutting, cutting programs that don't create jobs. do those cuts where there's no jobs created. where there are, save those programs, strengthen them, provide for jobs by investing in education, in innovation, and in infrastructure. and it's very easy when you take the education investment, the infrastructure investment and certainly the education investment that equals jobs for americans. middle class americans. and that's what it's all about. if we create jobs, it drives down the unemployment factor, drives down the deficit.
in afghanistan alone to prop up a corrupt and incompetent karzai government. how about ending wasteful subsidies to big agriculture companies? how about asking billionaire hedge fund managers to pay the same tax rates as their secretaries? the truth is that the best way to deal with our long-term fiscal situation is to grow our economy. that means creating jobs and putting people back to work. the last election i thought was about jobs. we haven't talked about jobs at all since the new republican majority became -- came to power. that means investing in things like education and infrastructure and green technology and medical research. that's the kind of economic future the american people deserve. the boehner default plan would take us exactly in the wrong direction and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, as i listen to my friend from the other side
Search Results 0 to 17 of about 18